Published by St. Martin's Press on May 14, 2019
Genres: MM Romance, LGBT
Tropes: Politics, Royalty, Enemies to Lovers, Diverse
Source: Scribd, Netgalley, St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Ramon de Ocampo
Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE was a DELIGHT. Seeing all those 5 stars reviews made me a bit leery but I can happily report those are justified. I loved Alex and Henry, their relationship transforming from enemies to friends and then to lovers in such an achingly slow burn, romantic way, it left me swooning and rooting for them.
“Sometimes you just jump and hope it’s not a cliff.”
In a parallel universe, in a time where Trump was never in office but a woman is the first female Commander in Chief, whose son is biracial and bisexual with aspirations to become a politician, a time when one of the oldest monarchies has a closeted gay prince, these two are impossible lovers. So I suppose it stands to reason why they have to sneak around. In a political atmosphere that isn’t so unlike ours there is a lot of homophobia and bigotry and since Alex’s mom is in full re-election campaign mode this secret love affair may kill her chances of winning the election for another term.
“You are”, he says, “the absolute worst idea I’ve ever had.”
I loved every single scene that was built around this storyline. There was so much humor, so much banter with smart, funny comebacks, the text messages between Alex and Henry were a highlight, the love that went in every character of this book was clear as day. Alex and Henry were the main protagonists but vying for the spotlight were all the other side characters, like the second daughter Nora or Alex’s sister, June, as well as Zahra, the president’s right hand. Every single person in this book had a place and a role to play.
RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE may be a debut but it feels like the author has a lot of experience under her belt. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while experiencing Alex and Henry’s love story and I was charmed by their romance. There was a lot of sensual tension between them but I found it refreshing that the author didn’t focus on the sex scenes.
“But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable.”
If you love a cute but poignant diverse MM story or want an entrance point into MM romance this is definitely one to highly recommend. I realize that there are also a couple reviews about this story that focus on this book’s weaknesses and rightfully so, so please read them, too, and make sure this book may work for you. I for one can’t find fault with it and I’ll be reading more of this author in the future!
I had the chance to listen to the audiobook and the narrator Ramon de Ocampo did an amazing job portraying all the characters and bringing their individuality into the spotlight. Loved his performance!